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The Falcon Can Hear The Falconer 


B.J. Mendelson 

Copyright © 2008 P.O. Box 3792 

by B. J. Mendelson Albany, New York, 12203 


Cast Of Characters 


A woman in her late 20' s. 
Marsha's imaginary friend. 
A paramedic in his early 20' s. 
Steve's partner, also in his 20's 

A car, anywhere, 


Winter, any time 



Scene 1 : In Medias Res 

SETTING: Inside of a broken VW Bug. Marshall 

is sitting next to Marsha in the 
passenger seat. Both should appear to 
be driving and navigating traffic in 
opposite directions as they talk. 

AT RISE: We find Marsha in mid-conversation with 

Marshall . 

I can hear the student's voices. 


While driving' 

before bed. 



(Pretends to be Marsha making a call. Quite loud.) 

Hello? Steven King? I'm stuck in traffic, thought I would give you a 
call. Marsha Cohen here. Boy do I have a story for you. This time? 
The horror comes from people! Children ! (Beat) What? No. No clowns. 
No spiders either. (Pause) No Steven, this story doesn't involve 
spider clowns in any way. What? Hello? (Pause) Huh . . . maybe Koontz 
might be interested . . . 

I do hear voices 



You're the obvious kind of crazy Marsha, of course you hear voices 
You're talking to yourself right now. 


Jealous Marshall? Why can't I have more than one imaginary friend? 
Why not an imaginary class that talks to me when I try to sleep? 

MARSHALL (Annoyed at this revelation) 

Fine. Fine. What do they say, Charles Xavier? 


There are no unique voices. I can hear you. I can't hear them. They 
sounds like an insect hive. Individual voices drown amidst the 
buzzing. The collective speaks but it has nothing to say. 


We work with children Marsha. Not bees. Children hit. Bees sting. 
Very different. Cars honk. Look at that idiot over there, honking 
away like it means something to the guy in front of him. That is 
drowning amidst noise-- 


Maybe my sanity is slipping too. The students saw me talking to you 
yesterday. They saw me talking to a locker. I can't do this for much 
longer. I am so bored with my life. My soul drowned and I'm left 
going through the motions. I don't want this. 


We do what we have to. Not what we want to. 


I've done what I have to since I was sixteen. When will I get to do 
what I want? 


Never . 

MARSHA (Irritated) 

Never? Forget you, Marshall. (Pause) Some imaginary friend 
You're supposed to encourage me! 


You have the same life anyone in the traffic around us has. You don't 

get a turn. Shelve the entitlement. We work, we owe, we die. 

You left out children. We breed too. Some of us want to breed. 


I'm a man. That's a consequence we don't think about. 

MARSHA (Sighing) 
What a disappointment. 


Life: A constant string of disappointments punctuated by drips of 
hope . 


What's wrong with you? You're not usually this depressing in the 

morning. That usually happens after first period. 

You're out of Xanax. We can only be happy when you're popping them, 

Xanax or not, I'm not depressed enough to agree with you. 


Really? Think about it. You're told at age six you can be anything. 
You're told at 15 that you need a job, so you can pay for being 
anything you want. You're told at 17 to plan for college and get a 
degree in anything you want, unless you have overbearing parents who 
picked your major and threatened to cut you off if you don't follow 
their wishes . 

You're told at 23 that you can't be anything you want, at the moment, 
because you have to pay off your student loans. You can't get a job. 
There are no jobs in the field you want, at least not in the United 
States. (Pause) It's too expensive to move to Bangalore and you don't 
have a chance there. You have credit card debt. You choke on bills 
until you panic and take a "temporary" job. 


Marshall. Let's just focus on the road. People are driving like human 
hemorrhoids. We can talk about this -- 

MARSHALL (Ignoring her) 

Later? Like your dreams? The dream gets deferred. Constantly. After 
not finding a job you go to graduate school. You have no idea what 
you're doing, but maybe a Master's, or God forbid, a Ph. D. will help 
you get that job you've always wanted. At 26, you leave with more 
debt, a spouse, and maybe, a baby. Then you find out you're over 
qualified and no one wants you because they can't afford to hire you. 

Now you have to pay off school, support your spouse, and prepare for 
your kid. Where's your dream now? (Pause.) 

You're thirty, you have debt, working a job you hate, and it's going 
to get worse. You'll get older, less attractive, America will forget 
about you, we only like pretty young people. Your temporary-turned- 
permanent job will fire you without thought, and then what? You'll 
wake up one day in a nursing home. Where's the life you dreamed 
about? Bed pans, IV, and General Hospital? My God, you reached for 
the stars . . . 

I don't think about the children you teach or the children you want 
to bear. Children are our future? It's like George Carlin says, "Fuck 
the children . " 

MARSHA (Defeated) 
I ... I don't even remember what I wanted to be. 

Where ' d the dream go? 

I lost track of it. 


Hah. Don't we all? Look at us. You and your imaginary friend, off to 
another miserable day teaching the voiceless. You spend hours 
teaching something no one will ever use again. Photosynthesis? Fuck 
photosynthesis . (Pause) 

You come home, you're exhausted. In those five hours between work and 
sleep, you take care of your spouse. On the weekend, you go to the 
mall and look at things you can't afford. You can't think of anything 
else to do, and you don't do anything productive because that would 
be work and work is for the week day. (Pause) How's that dream 


I 'm pregnant . 




You're wrong. I've always wanted to have a baby. Even with Harry 
dead, I still want to have his baby. I did these things by choice, 
not because someone told me to. It might not have worked how I 
imagined ... I don't even remember what I imagined ... but I'm happy, 
I'm happy in ways you can never be. Maybe it's time I up the 
medication. I don't need my subconscious depressing me or making 
me . . . 


Suicidal Suicidal. 

(The car veers off the road. Both actors turn the wheel in opposite 
directions . ) 


Brakes ! Gas ! 

(The car crashes. The lights fade.) 


Did I let go of the wheel or did it let go of me? 

(The lights return with Steve and Rob emerging on stage. Marshall is 
missing. Marsha is lying down on the floor.) 


Whoa. I don't know why they bothered calling us. 


They're better off, we're wasting time here. We could actually be 
saving someone. This -- 


Is out of our hands. Let's go. 

Let's go? What do you mean let's go? 

ROB (Overlapping Martha) 
Let's go? We still have to take her to the hospital 


Hey, I have to take her to the hospital, but I don ' t want to. She's 
just going to take a spot from someone who has chance. 


What the hell? A chance? There's always a chance. That's what life is 
a chance-- 


A chance. We're wasting time, if we take her to the hospital now, she 
still might have a shot. There's still a pulse. 


Pulse or not, in another minute or two, she'll be dead. Until then we 
down some more beers in the truck. 


There's still a pulse. Let's give her another chance. Even if it's a 
slim one ... it's still the best she has ... 


We're wasting valuable drinking time, Rob. 


Just once. Just once, Steve. I would like to save someone. Anyone. 
Why not her? -- 

—"Why not", he says. I can smell his breath from here, 

You're back. 

You're dead. 

I haven't had a chance to notice. 


There's still a few moments left. Who knows, maybe you'll get lucky. 


I'm due for a chance. I'm due, aren't I? 


You're fucked. 


You don't seem concerned. If I go ... 


I know. But ... I'm ready to go. I'm going to suggest we get buried 
without the box. Face up. So we can watch the curtain close on this 
disappointing, miserable . . . 


-- If this is my last moments on earth, I rather cheer myself on in 
an ambulance than listen to you. If I get a second chance, you're not 
welcome to it. Goodbye Marshall. (Marsha storms off stage) . 

(End Of Scene)